Understanding the Basics of Car Shipping 

The world has become a global village and people are constantly moving from one location to the other. When people move, it only makes sense that they move with their property.  Even in cases where people do not move with all their worldly possessions, there are very important stuff that they move with; one of such properties are cars. 

In other cases, people purchase cars from dealers outside their place of residence or need to send a car as a gift to someone outside where they live. In all the scenarios that we have painted, the services of car shipping or auto transport service as they are also called comes in handy. 

The process of getting a company to help an individual transport their vehicles should be a straightforward and simple one. But some people often fall prey to scammers because they fail to do their due diligence before engaging a service provider. Click here for tips on how to ascertain the legitimacy of a business. 

In this article, we will help you have an understanding of this industry which will help you make an informed decision when you need their services. 

Key Aspects off Car Shipping 

There are several things to understand about auto transport that will help you know what to look out for when you need the service. Below are some of them:

Types of Carriers 

Carriers are the means through which the vehicles are transported. Most auto transport companies typically use 2 types of carrier and they are open and enclosed carriers. 

  1. Open Carrier– This is the more popular option all thanks to its affordability. It involves the use of open trailers to transport cars.  Although the vehicles transported on these carriers are securely strapped, they are often exposed to the elements and road debris. 
  2. Enclosed Carrier – These options are usually closed and offer a higher level of protection and security for the cargo. The vehicles are carried in enclosed trailers which is why they are shielded from road debris and other weather elements. 

Shipping Methods

There are different methods of transporting vehicles that cater to different individual needs. The most common methods are listed and explained below:

  1. Direct Shipping – This is the method in which the customer’s car is picked up and dropped at the desired location. This method is more convenient than other methods and is usually faster.  
  2. Terminal to terminal Shipping – In this method, the customer is expected to drop off their vehicle at a specified terminal from where it is transported to a terminal closest to their destination. The customer then goes to the destination to pick up the car. This method is most often used for international car shipping by car dealers and their associates. This type of transportation may be cheaper but comes with additional stress of time spent and inconvenience. 
  3. Expedited Shipping – This is shipping service where a customer needs the delivery of their vehicle to be fast tracked.  This method is available at significantly higher costs. 


The amount charged for auto transport services depends on a number of factors and they include the type of carrier used, the size of the vehicle and its weight, the distance and the shipping method. Other factors that affect the cost of auto transport are the time of the year, fuel prices and demand for the service.  

It is therefore recommended that you get as many quotes as possible from many shipping companies. Compare the prices in relation to the services that you will get so that you can ascertain whether the cost is worth the value delivered. 

Insurance and Liability

Serious minded car shipping companies that have a reputation to protect often provide insurance coverage for the cars that they ship. The level and type of insurance offered differs which is why it is important to know this detail before engaging their service. 

Find out the type of coverage the company offers and be sure that it is adequate for your vehicle. It is also advised that you inform your personal auto insurance provider about your plans to transport your car. This will help you know whether there are any gaps in your cover so that you can take necessary precautions.  Visit for some information on personal auto insurance.

Delivery Times

The delivery time for any cargo especially cars depends on the shipping method uses, the distance and the availability of carriers.  It takes about 2 weeks to ship a vehicle across the country and about several weeks or months for international shipments. 

That being said however, customers should have a realistic expectation of when their vehicle(s) will arrive. They should also communicate effectively with the shipping company to get an estimate of the timeframe for specific situations. 


Understanding car shipping and all that it entails ensures that the customer has a smooth and successful experience. It is therefore necessary that anyone that needs to haul their vehicle(s) across state; city or country lines should get familiar with all the issues that we have discussed above. 

The tips shared in this article will go a long way in helping customers to get the best of this service so bear them in mind at all times. 

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